Itchy, Itchy, Itchy

This is a tough time of year for me.
There’s so much that I want to get going on the Farm, but the weather…oh lawdy the weather!

98% of our snow has melted.
A lot of the resulting water from that has soaked in.
But…
There’s still too much water to take the tractor into the pasture.
The ground is still too wet to rake the yard(s)…which also means it’s too wet to use the tractor to move big bales of straw to the garden.
The garden is drying out nicely, and I could probably think about pulling out the rototiller…except I really want to move to a no-till garden.
Which means getting the big straw bales I have for the garden over there, using the tractor, where it’s too wet to use the tractor without ripping up the lawn/pasture something fierce.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

And that’s my conundrum.
So much to do, but hurry up and wait before I can do it.

At least my tomatoes have started.
I already ordered more, because with what I can start in the various places in the house, it’s still not enough for our garden.
And we need to figure out how to keep the rotten not-supposed-to-be free ranging asshole chickens out of the garden so they don’t destroy tender shoots when they start coming up.
Like they did my garlic.
Assholes.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Lemon Chicken…she does what she wants…like standing onΒ  one leg to make people think she’s a one-legged chicken when she’s not. She’s just a feathered asshole.

Soon enough I know it’ll be time, and I’ll have more work to do getting the garden and food animals going that I won’t even have time to think.
But for right now, there’s too much time to think while I plot and plan and long for things to dry up enough that we can get going.
πŸ™‚

 

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Monday Morning

Mother Nature seems to be having a little joke on us this morning.
This past weekend was lovely out, with sunshine and warmth and a whole lot of melting snow…

Cheering for the Winnipeg Jets

The Merry Mares had a good round of grooming, then they posed for pictures with Winnipeg Jets attire, and even got a couple of cookies…
And now, this morning?

From 8:35am
April 15th, 2019

Really Mother Nature?
Really??!?

Gearing up for Growing Season

Whew!!
We made it to April!
I swear, this felt like the winter-that-wouldn’t-end.
And we’re still not out of the woods, because there’s a chance of snow tomorrow with big wind gusts.

Here though, we’re working on garden plans, meat animal plans and building plans.

3 of my 4 large straw bales are in place and ready for conditioning.
Those will get the vining plants…cucumbers, pumpkins, zucchini and maybe a type of winter squash, like butternut or acorn or something…haven’t decided 100% yet.
That’s going to leave the garden for tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beans, peas, lettuce, onions, spinach and beets.
I try to grow a lot of the things we eat the most.
I don’t grow a huge variety of things, but I’m always willing to try new things, if the family will eat them.
Even with as much land as we have, there isn’t space for things that we’re not going to eat (or can’t be fed to animals).

Yesterday I ordered 36 tomato plants, to go with the 40 pots I planted with seeds.
I also ordered a grape vine.
Friends are going to split their strawberries this year and I’m lucky enough to benefit from that…mmmm!! I’d love to have my own huge strawberry patch!
Definitely something to work towards. I definitely have the land for it!

Pepper seeds are starting to pop up.
Slowly, but still coming up.

Hubby cleaned out and fixed up the large brooder in the garage a few weeks ago, so we’re ready for chicks at the end of this month.
We’ll be getting 20 eggies to eventually replace the hens we have now, and 50 meat chicks.
If all goes well, and everyone grows well, that’s a lot of food for the freezer.
We had some issues last year, and we’ve worked to correct them, so to cut our losses.
Even though we’re raising the meaties for food, it is our duty to make sure we’re doing so in the very best way possible, so that they are happy, healthy birds until their last day.
Happy food tastes better!

Canning has begun for the year, with 14 pints of dried chickpeas done yesterday.
Next week I’ll send Hubby to the mushroom plant and do those again. Didn’t take us long to eat the jars I did after Christmas.
No joke, we love mushrooms here!
πŸ™‚

And sunrise is coming so much sooner.
I’m loving the earlier days, and later evenings.
I’m feeling ready (almost) for the growing season.
Excited to get my hands in the dirt.
Longing for harvests to line the shelves with food for next winter.
Because winter is always coming.

As the days grow longer, the night temperatures are slowly rising to above 0*C.
When we have at least a week of above 0* overnight, then I can put my Cookie back into maceration to finish the last little bits that need to be done.
I hope she will be done in time for the fall, so I can work on the travel photo series I have planned for her. ❀

For right now though, we’re waiting for the final melt, for Lake Midnight to soak in, for the pasture to grow, for the frost to come out of the ground so we can get to work in the garden.

And Ruby?
She’s working hard on that food baby belly and napping in the sunshine. πŸ˜‰

Good Morning!!

Good Sunday morning everyone!
It’s been a while again, huh?
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Things are warming up here and I think (hope for reals) that Spring in on her way.
Today we start pepper seeds.
Yes I know, I said I was starting them earlier, but looking at my notes from last year, I decided to delay by a couple of weeks to avoid those leggy tall plants.
So today, I’ll start my bell peppers and some jalapenos.
So excited!!
Made my list of what seeds I need to buy this year too.
Been reading up on straw bale gardening…why, when I have so much space, you ask?
Well, because 1. you can never grow enough food. If there’s a way to grow more, I want to do it. And 2. I have a couple big squares that aren’t good for making the shelter extension for the horses next year, so before they end up burned for smudges or on the compost pile, I want to get 1 more use out of them. And if I can grow food on/in them, that’s even better.

My hope/plan is to be so busy putting up food this summer/fall, between the garden and food animals we raise and hunt, that it’s all I do. lol πŸ™‚

So.
Excited.
πŸ™‚

And I think I may have solved a problem I’m having here on the blog too…y’see, I’ve been writing here for a few years, and I’m running out of space.
It’s not in the budget to go for a paid blog, so I’ve been hesitant to upload the tons of photos like I used to.
And I don’t want to move to another new blog, because then I’d have to try to coax everyone to follow the new one.
Well, I finally discovered that I can download some of my posts.
Once I have a discussion with my Tech Nerd(s) I’m going to download the older posts and then delete them to make space.
That way I still have the posts, but also have the space for new posts with pictures. πŸ™‚
I can honestly say, I never expected to run out of space here…but I have. So fingers crossed this works, and then, hopefully I can get back into the swing of writing/posting on a more regular basis.

‘Til then, enjoy a picture of King Trouble watching over his kingdom…with Toby below, because no one pushes the King off his fence post. πŸ˜‰

It’s Coming!

I took this shot at 7:59am.
This morning.
Like, and hour and a half(ish) ago…


I annoyed the crap out of her (literally!) moving around, trying to catch the sunspots and flares just right on the lens.
The tongue tells the story…
“Go’way…tryna sleep here. Yer sucha pain in my rump with that damn beepy thing!”
I’m a fair bit out of practice with my morning sunrise shots…but still, I do love this shot, even if it’s not perfect.

Spring is on her way!

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Wordless Wednesday.

 

Mid-February Warm Up

We’re almost 1/2 way through February.
Today is a balmy -8*c.
Compared to last week’s deep, deep freeze, this is positively t-shirt weather!
I, of course, celebrate days like this with open windows and loud music…and a few pictures.

Ruby decided to have a nap in the straw bale.
Those ears tell me she wasn’t happy about my disturbing her with the camera.
After all this time, she oughta be used to it.
πŸ˜‰

And then I captured this little one…

Fluff!!

This feline showed up in the Fall and moved into the garage.
S/he had a grand time chewing on a pig head that was left in the grass after butchering through the winter…
S/he also was enjoying meals in the garage during the coldest of days.
As always, when a newbie shows up, whether they arrive on their own or are dumped here, everybody eats.
And, once the weather settles out a bit more towards spring, we’ll trap this one and take them to the vet for spay/neuter and a check up.

Still trying to wait patiently for Spring.
This round of nice weather has me antsy to start getting things going, but I know it’s too early for plants, and there’s too much snow for building.
So I’m working on props for my Kid’s b-day photo shoot with her horse.
In 1 week they turn 18.
That needs to be marked with photos.
πŸ™‚

Tired…But Hopeful for Spring

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m tired of talking about the weather. Not that there’s much else to talk about these days, with how the weather dominates everything we do at this time of year.

Honestly, how can we *not* talk about -40*c temperatures?
With windchills in the mid to high -50*c range?
How we survived it for near on to a week, with very few little glitches?
How the Merry Mares came through with kicking, bucking, galloping, playing colours?
And now how we’re under a snowfall warning and could see as much as 8 inches of snow by tomorrow morning?
But we’re lucky where we are, because south of us, they could see upwards of 15 inches…so there’s that.

It’s tiring though, when we’re longing for spring and sunshine and warmth that doesn’t come from the furnace…

In 25 days I will start my pepper seeds.
2 weeks after that, I will start my tomato seeds.
I’m clinging to that, because that’s my sign of spring is coming.
I’ve been ready to start seeds for months.
I’ve studied what worked last year, what I can do better with this year, and made my list of what I need to buy for seeds to get going.
I’ve been diligently cleaning the horse shelter to grow the compost pile to add to the garden next fall.
I’ve also been on top of the household compost and look forward to it cooking down some once the melt hits.
Then I can clean out the poultry coop and put the bedding/waste in the bottom of the bin when we move it.

We never did get a fence built around the garden, so I’m hoping to get that done this year. We found a couple of dog run style chain link set ups this past summer, and I’m hoping to use one of those.
I really want to be able to pen the poultry into the garden at the end of the year to act as the clean up crew.
Makes my life so much easier in the spring!

In the meantime, since it’s been way too cold to take the camera out to capture the Merry Mare’s in their playing glory, The Kid and dressed up the cats.
Nancy was not happy and none of his shots turned out…unless you like flaily blurs of tabby running away from the camera.
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Daisy Mae, however….


And this one…


Next up, I’m going to crochet her a little hat and scarf set.
A chicken hat.

There’s a reason for it to be a chicken hat…

See that chicken in the back?
The light coloured one?
That’s Lemon Chicken.
That’s her name. She’s one of my green egg layers.
She’s also a brat who loves to come up on the deck and eat the cat food I put out for the outdoor cats.
Well, we’ve had some rather lovely days, where she’s been wandering about the yard like she likes to do.
One of those days, I came back from collecting eggs in the coop to find her at the back door, having a conversation with little miss Daisy Mae through the door.
There was cooing and chirping from Lemon Chicken and mewing and other odd noises from Daisy Mae…
Un-fricken-believable.
The cat and the chicken have decided they’re pals.

So, once things warm up enough that Lemon Chicken starts free ranging again (even though she’s *supposed* to stay in the chicken yard), the plan is for the unlikely friends to have a face to face meeting.
And Daisy Mae will be wearing a crocheted chicken hat.
Hilarity oughta ensue.